What it always is
The Interdisciplinary College (IK) is an annual, intense one-week spring school which offers a dense state-of-the-art course program in neurobiology, neural computation, cognitive science/psychology, artificial intelligence, robotics and philosophy. It is aimed at students, postgraduates and researchers from academia and industry. By combining humanities, science and technology, the IK endeavours to intensify dialogue and connectedness between the various disciplines. Participants come mainly from European countries, lecturers from all over the world. Courses include up-to-date introductions to the main fields of the IK, as well as an in-depth treatment of a focus topic which is changing from year to year. And finally, the IK is a unique social event. In the evenings participants may enjoy the very special atmosphere: minds meet, music is played, and friends are made in long evening and night sessions in the welcoming conference site at the Lake Möhne.
What it will be in 2013
The 2013 edition of the IK is devoted to the focus theme "Wicked Problems, Complexity and Wisdom". It tries to collect and present actual work on wisdom, complex problem solving, system complexity, decision support, and complex planning both theoretical and practical. The main focus will be on how to model and to explain the human capacity to create and solve complex problems from different disciplinary perspectives.
What it was in 2012
The 2012 edition of the IK is devoted to the focus theme "Emotion and Aesthetics". Recent progress work has shown how emotions are an integral part of brain functioning and behavior and that aesthetic considerations influence our perception and decision making. This has led to the development of "affective science". The IK 2012 will provide an interdisciplinary view of affective science. Specific IK courses will address the neural correlates of emotion and aesthetics, the influence of emotions on behavior and motivation, and psychological and neurobiological approaches to music and film. There will be also courses on "affective computing", a quickly developing field of artificial methods to both understand, generate and communicate emotions in a human-machine framework, including robotics approaches.
What it was in 2011
|The 2011 edition of the IK is devoted to the focus theme "Autonomy, Decisions and Free Will". Focus courses will address topics such as the philosophy and neuroscience of free will, cognitive models of decision making, rationality and heuristics, intentional agents and BDI systems, interdisciplinary approaches to volition, intentions, control, self-regulation and task scheduling. There will also be special courses on technical and commercial applications, such as decision support systems and recognition of user-intentions for technical systems.|
How it became what it is
The IK evolved from the former 'Artificial Intelligence Spring School' (KIFS), which took place almost annually from 1982 to 1996 and contributed significantly to the development of AI in Germany. Since the beginning of the 1990s, AI had been well established in German universities and the mission of the KIFS had thus been fulfilled. It was time for a comprehensive departure into interdisciplinarity. This venue was developed by several different events, especially by two workshops "Wege ins Gehirn" (Paths into the brain) and "Autonomie und Adaptivitaet" (Autonomy and Adaptivity). These non-public workshops were organized by the Federal Ministery of Education and Research and brought together leading scientists in these fields. The final decision to turn the KIFS into the Interdisciplinary College was taken in the first of these workshops in 1996. The IK "movement" is carried by a body of leading researchers from the concerned disciplines (see the Executive Committee lists on IK webpages). The IK inherited the scenery (Heinrich-Luebke-Haus in Guenne/Moehnesee) and its intensity from the KIFS. The IK is held in English. The IK has now been run annually since 1997, each time with overwhelmingly positive feedback from its participants.
Why MINDS advertises the IK
Because it is really one of the most inspiring events one can find, if one is interested in how MINDs work.